By Ryan Novas

Many kids think that superheroes are powerful enough that they can do whatever they want by themselves. However, despite their incredible strength and superhuman abilities, at some point every superhero needs help.

By throwing a superhero sleepover party for your child, you can use fun and exciting games to teach everyone about bravery, trust, and social skills.

Superhero Obstacle Course:

A fun way to get everyone warmed up to their super abilities, while focusing on teamwork and trust, is a blindfolded obstacle course. In an open area, like your back yard or a park, create two pathways that are about 30 feet long and 10 feet wide by laying down cones or bright colored strings — just make sure you place a few odd twists or turns.

Then you can create obstacles within the paths, like hula hoops they need to step in and rows of traps (foam blocks or card board boxes can work well) that they need to pass without touching. Before each hero can complete the course, they must pick up 4 capes (or handkerchiefs) that are scattered throughout it.

To start the game, split the guests into two teams, one for each course. Each guest who goes through the course will be blindfolded. This means that they will need to rely entirely on their super-hearing, super-touch, and super-teammates to get through it.
Defiant Child Disrespectful Child
The teammates are allowed to help them by shouting out instructions, but the other team is also allowed to distract them. This way they must use their hearing to distinguish who is telling them to do what. If they go out of bounds, step in a hula hoop, or touch the trap, they will need to start from the beginning.

Because a superhero would never leave a man behind, everyone must pass the course before they can move onto the next activity. The first team to get all of their members through the course is the winner.

Target Practice:

Superheroes are known for their amazing coordination and athleticism. In this activity, guests should break into teams of two and each go to their own station, where they will stand for the rest of the game. Each station should have a number of different sized buckets scattered around it.

The goal of this game is for both team members to successfully shoot three energy blasts into three of the enemies’ force fields (i.e. throw a tennis balls into three different buckets). However, the trick to this game is that the teammate throwing the balls is blindfolded, and no X-ray vision is allowed.

After each guest has been blindfolded, spin them around in circles three times so that they won’t be able to remember where the buckets are. Now they will have to depend on their own abilities and their teammates’ instructions to take down the enemies.

After they have successfully landed balls in the bucket, the other teammate can proceed. The first team where both members successfully throw three balls into buckets will win a prize like a Superhero Pez dispenser.

Alarm Clock Hunt:

A superhero is constantly pressed for time and needs to diffuse situations under intense pressure. In this activity, two teams must find a series of alarms, all before they go off.

Each team must choose a guide, who will be shown the locations of each alarm, but won’t be allowed to speak or move around the course. After making their choice, each team spends 5 minutes planning how they will communicate with their guide. When the time is up, the guide is separated from the team to watch the course as it is set up.

Next, depending on how many guests you have, hide 10-15 alarms throughout the playing field. If you don’t have enough alarm clocks, watches, old phone, egg timer, or anything else with an alarm can work well too. Set each alarm one minute apart to begin about 5 minutes after you have set them all up.

Because the guides cannot talk or walk, each team will need to find strategies that work best for both communicating with their guide and finding the alarms as quickly as possible.

By doing things like developing non-verbal signs for the guide, dividing up the area so one or two people can search each part, or spying on the other team’s guide, they can gain an edge. Remind them that because they may be spied on, they should make their signals with the guide secretive, not just things like pointing. The team that can collect the most alarms before they go off wins the game.

While most superheroes need to live secret lives and are often up against immense odds, this just means that they need to rely on trust, bravery and teamwork more than normal people. After a day filled with these exciting and character building games, your kids should have formed new bonds and learned a lot about communicating.

To cap the night off, they can all put on Spiderman pajamas or ones themed after their own favorite superhero, and watch a movie like Superman or Batman before bed.

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    Anthony Kane, MD
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